Courtesy of WOWSA, lac St-Jean, Canada.

Monique Blok-Wildschut was the greatest professional marathon swimmer of her generation and one of the greatest of all time. She was the six-time World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation champion between 1983 and 1988. The longer, the colder, the rougher the conditions, the tougher, the stronger, the faster the Dutch swimmer became. A typical race saw her go head-to-head against the best men in her era including at the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in Canada where she placed second overall in the 64 km Traversée in 17 hours 28 minutes.

In the 35th Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean on July 30th 1989, the swimmers set off late at night [see above photo] and did a tough two-way 64 km crossing of lac St-Jean, finishing in the following order:

1. Paul Asmuth (USA) 17 hours 6 minutes 53 seconds
2. Monique Wildschut (Netherlands) 17 hours 28 minutes 7 seconds
3. Mohamed Elmessery, (Egypt) 17 hours 47 minutes 3 seconds
4. Claudio Plit (Argentina) 18 hours 48 minutes 7 seconds
5. Nathalie Patenaude (Canada) 19 hours 19 minutes 20 seconds
DNF Nasser El Shazly (Egypt)
DNF Alejandro Larriera (Argentina)
DNF Philip Rush (New Zealand)

Her 2015 autobiography Ontberingen van een marathonzwemster (Rigors of a marathon swimmer) has been translated from Dutch into English and published as Hardships Of A Marathonswimmer.

To order, visit here.

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